Sompo urged to provide climate transition details

Japan’s Sompo, which this week became the first Asian insurer to rule out insurance and investment in coal companies, has been urged to outline how it plans to evaluate the credibility of transition plans at said businesses.

Following its AGM, Sompo has now committed to rule out underwriting and investment in coal companies without transition plans by 2025. 

However, according to climate campaign group Insure our Future, Sompo’s policy is silent on how it plans to evaluate the credibility of transition plans at coal companies and fails to mention oil and gas:

“Sompo must strengthen the transition plan requirement to close all coal-related assets by 2030 in EU/OECD countries and by 2040 globally to align with science based pathways such as the International Energy Agency Net Zero scenario and the One Earth Climate Model (OECM) Decarbonisation Pathway.

In addition to its strengthened coal commitment, Sompo announced its new membership of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance – an increasingly important association which continues to gather significant traction in the market.

Commenting on the latest developments, Yuki Tanabe, programme director at the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), said: ”Sompo is the first Japanese financial institution to restrict coal-related companies, while other major financial institutions have project-based exclusion policies only. We welcome Sompo’s pioneering efforts and would like to urge other financial institutions to urgently develop policies at the same level or higher.”

Minyoung Shin, Asia Coordinator of the Insure Our Future campaign, added:  “Sompo’s enhanced coal policy is a statement that the company is serious about its net zero commitment.”

“The UN-backed Race to Zero campaign has made it clear that you can’t commit to net zero while continuing to support the development of new fossil assets. We urge all Asian insurers to enhance their fossil fuel policies in line with the global standard.”